Friday, July 30, 2021

Unintended Consequences


This picture was on Facebook, and it brought back an unpleasant memory.

Local kids in the Colorado Yampa Valley (Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Craig) wanted bragging rights on how fast they could drive the 42 miles between Steamboat and Craig.

Westbound out of Steamboat three Craig kids in a 1960 Chevy convertible slid off the corner just past Hwy 129 and hit a mailbox much like the one in the picture. They hit almost exactly in line with the steering column breaking it.  With no steering control they went into the ditch and rolled several times. One passenger was killed.

The mailbox owner had grown weary of having his mailbox knocked over by careless/malicious snow plow drivers. He put out such a stout mail box it would cause a snowplow truck to pivot.

The dead passenger had recently moved to Craig from Steamboat and was one of my best friends.

His parents insisted on an open casket at his funeral and made sure all us hot shots filed by. The funeral home workers did not do any cosmetic work on the face.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Nothing Much About Very Little


A younger man I occasionally mentor today asked me for investment advice. I gently declined as my track record is dismal.

Two examples.

Bought at the urging of a co-worker whose father was shepherding the first ever sale of Microsoft stock in the Spokane stock exchange, I only held my position for four years.

While living in the Seattle area, I saw the emergence of the espresso coffee craze. I didn’t get involved as I couldn’t believe people would stand in line for ten minutes and then pay $1.25 for a cup of coffee.

Currently I seem to be in a disgruntled state unable to raise much passion for anything. There are interesting things going on in the Centennial State.

Republicans continuing their country club gentry’s ways.

Even the “woke” occasionally get slapped.

Cry me a river, trust fund snots.

We know what is best for you. Often we must bend the law and misappropriate funds to do so.

The costs of “green” energy are going to slap people in the wallet this winter. IMO, just a taste of what must come.

The mayor hasn’t weighed in. He is former Congressman Mike Coffman and he is nobody’s tool.

Back in the day, a big fight was over the routing of I-70. Two routes were considered, US 6 and US 40. Both required tunnels under the Continental Divide. The geology of the proposed US 40 tunnels was known as the railroad Moffat Tunnel and an existing water diversion tunnel was in the area.

A twelve term Congressman, Wayne Aspinall (D) Palisade (near Grand Junction) along US 6 forced the current route. Now when Glenwood Canyon has frequent forced closures along with De Beque Canyon, traffic is diverted to the two lanes US 40. 

Motorist can enjoy the approaches to the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels (at 11,000’ ASL) and Vail Pass  (10,640’ ASL) when the route is open. Along the way they can marvel at the miles of 12’ high animal control fences lining the route.

Just a side note, the geology of the I-70 tunnels was a nightmare, doubling costs and construction time. Who would have thunk?

In other news, my health is improving. The Urologist has approved increased exercise and the Primary has me down to two prescription drugs (blood pressure and water retention). Both are the smallest doses available.

Given time I will soon be back to my perpetually outraged self.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Other Views


My niece is a career public health worker in Reno. While our political views are vastly different, my admiration for her courage and dedication is without qualifiers.

The picture was from a post to her Facebook page by her mother (my Sisty).

However harsh COVID has made our lives, for health workers it must be 24/7 combat. The public is resisting and the REMFs (Facui, et al) liars and corrupt. What a tough place to be.

So I ask the few readers that pass this way to say a prayer for the front line health workers, and pass along a thank you to those you may meet.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


As the card reader accepted my card, my cheapskate soul said, “Ouch”. $44+ for something I can do in twenty minutes and $18.

My excuse? Saw the Doc today and am cleared for moderate exercise. Does that include wrestling ramps and forcing a 77 year old body under the car? After arguing with myself a bit, decided not to take the chance. Does that fray my man card?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Those of you who can post a blog entry daily I admire. Those whose post covers many topics astound me.  My life right now is mundane and my usual outrage muted. The complete clown show going on in politics right now leaves me suspended in disbelief.

Because of my 100+ cousins (first and second) Facebook is a daily outlet. Add a few friends and I spend an hour or so a day there. Things I swipe for you bloggers end up as a post under the title, “Stirring the pot”.

The four years President Trump was in office had my FB feed full of harsh attacks, often vile, and written in a self righteous tone against him. Those same posters now are curiously silent in praising SloJo/Ho. Perhaps a bit of buyer’s remorse? Are they sensing a return of the stagflation of the Obama years? Any damn fool who bothers to think can see our country’s current economic path is not sustainable. Do we even have two years before the shit hits the fan?

On a brighter note, one grandson is in his AIT mechanic school at Ft. Lee, VA. I read today the National Guard is fast running out of money to pay the troops, with no bipartisan support in sight to remedy the situation. Oh, there was no money allocated for them to guard Congress against a “coup”?  Well shucky darn! Give Pelosi, et al credit for trying to keep the costs down by having the Guard bivouac in parking garages.

Two weeks ago my prostrate got “Roto Rootered”, after far too long a delay thanks to COVID. So far, so good, and for once I’m following the doctor’s orders. Next week is my first checkup. Hopefully I can go back to my exercise program. Right now, my flab is getting flab. With this behind me, I’m down to two prescription drugs, very small doses, and maybe one more can be eliminated. Also had my bi-annual pacemaker check just before the medical procedure and there were no problems. The pacemaker has a memory function and my remote reader can transmit the data to the cardiologists.

The place I call home is a 90 unit 65+ years old apartment that was, pre-COVID, developing a real community. That is now showing signs of renewal. For me, with decent health and outside interests, COVID has been an inconvenience and diminished part time earnings. For many of the residents, it has been almost a prison sentence.  Now we have this “Delta” variant making the news (or is it the propaganda machine?).  Will the country stand for more lockdowns?

For now I’m going to enjoy my family, friends, and Banner the dog. The fire will return; it always has.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Vote Republican?


Disclaimer. Several years ago I changed my voter affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Since then I haven’t voted for any Democrat. Even if I vote for a Republican candidate, the Republican Party leaves me cold, or at best, tepid. Why? Mr. Caldara explains the state of the GOP far better than I can.

Last election highly qualified candidates were nominated. They were about as exciting a paint drying.

The bright spot was the Rifle, CO pistol  packing restaurant owner. She is not a favorite daughter of the country club crowd.


I’ve written before about my years as a Republican precinct committeeman and how the Evangelical faction of the GOP mounted a campaign to be rid of me. After losing that election I was soon the Democratic committeeman for the same precinct. This was in Renton, (King County) WA.

Speaking of the Evangelical Republicans, at the time it appeared they would always be dominant. Perhaps we are seeing the peak of (P)regressives? Please! May history repeat itself.

The Republicans liked to gather at a Holiday Inn, dine on lukewarm Chicken ala King, and feature speaker after speaker giving pats on the back; such fine people are we Republicans! Much superior to that Democratic rabble.

Democrats, I found, got shit faced at a longshoreman’s bar on Seattle’s Harbor Island while discussing how to grab the Republican balls and rip them off. Fun crowd!

You will not see me at a Democrat meeting rubbing elbows with woke P)regressives and communists. I loathe them more than smug country club Republicans.

1970’s cartoon had a man sitting reading a newspaper and declaring to his nearby wife,

“The more my thinking turns to the right, the more I find in common with the left. I think I’m becoming a middle of the road extremist”.

Living in the same district as a university, I’m in a blue dot in perhaps the reddest Colorado County. President Trump received 72% of the last vote.  The Congressional District is represented by Ken Buck (R), a career politician who may be the most conservative representative in D.C. Like him or hate him, he is very clear on where he stands. That I can respect.

An Air Force veteran and married to a cousin had a Facebook exchange I liked.

The founding fathers you all love to quote made these laws about guns that shot what one bullet at a time. There were not envisioning these weapons that can shoot dozens of bullets all at once. There is a HUGE difference.

Patrick G. Chalmers

At that time period, the enemy or opponent had the same capability (one shot at a time)!! To be able to defend yourself, you must have the same firepower as your opponent. Liberals say the interpretation of the constitution must reflect the changes in time, so also the 2nd Amendment must reflex the changes in time.

He is a solid man who has a college administrator liberal daughter. Other than her politics, I quite like her. She is gutsy and intelligent (for the most part). I admire people who will put it on the line.

On July 1 I had a prostrate procedure performed (not cancer!). In my head it was a minor procedure. Wrong, WSF! All went well and my recovery, other than my smug assumptions, is proceeding well. For once in my hard headed life, I’m following the doctor’s orders. Grrrr! As a bonus I now take just two prescriptions. One is a very small amount for heart pressure and the other very small amount for water retention.

The road to ruin the (P)regressive/socialists/communists are taking us scares me. Not for myself, at age 77 I won’t be living with the long term damages, but for my sons and grandkids. Will the election process be cleaned up in enough states to make the 2022 elections a turning point? We can only hope.

President Trump is still saving our butts. His 200+ appointments to the Federal Courts is the only impediment to the woke mob. Those three branches of government the Founder put in place still work.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Old School Cool

Once again the Union Pacific is running a Big Boy tour.

 They recently did a test run to Denver and back so everything should be good to go.

 I missed that run. There was no posted schedule. I’m recovering from a medical procedure that has me housebound for a few days. I seldom miss a chance to see it.

 Given the historic hardnosed business attitude of the UP, I’m surprised they keep the steam program going. I, for one, am grateful they do. The amount of publicity and goodwill these tours generate must mute the bean counters.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dealing With Aging Parents

Mine are gone and I will soon be 77. So far, my children haven’t had to deal with my problems and I hope they never are faced with the issue.

My apartment is in a 90 unit senior housing building, minimum age 65, with most residents in their 70’s and 80’s. Accepting limitations of failing bodies, and especially failing brains, is very hard for any of us to accept.

Many residents know I was in the car biz, and I get questions from time to time. One resident, Beverly, asked for my help in buying a used car. She just wanted something to drive to Wal-Mart. I asked her what was wrong with her Buick and got a long explanation about a dead battery and a son-in-law that wouldn’t come over and charge it. Big red flag! Two days ago, without my help, she bought a used car. We will see how long it takes her to crash it. Hopefully, no innocents will be hurt.

I’m reminded of my own mother who would ignore red lights and cross a busy 4 lane highway to get to McDonalds for free coffee. She had a Ford ½ ton conversion van. When she wasn’t looking, I crawled under it and disconnected the negative battery cable at the frame, insulated it, and reattached it. She would get her various boyfriends to jump start it. Of course, as soon as the jumper cable came off the van stopped running.

In this city there is a free ride service for those over 60. While not as convenient as your own vehicle, you can get to doctor appointments and grocery shopping. Users among my neighbors say the service is reliable and fairly convenient.

Thanks to a CPAP and a pacemaker, I’ve beaten the actuary tables. Looking at my extended family, those who dodged cancer have lived into their 80’s, even 90’s, so maybe I will. Not being a burden on anyone is my desire. The rest of life’s journey I will cope with.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Two Fools Gone

Two men in a Bonanza left the Aspen airport and didn’t make it over the Continental Divide. That is not unusual.

I learned to fly in Colorado with mountain pilot instructors. Drilled into all their students are some hard lessons about the winds aloft, mountain waves, and density altitude. There are passes you cross eastbound and passes you cross westbound depending on the winds aloft.

Aspen is especially tricky. Those two souls should have talked to the locals and added 20-30 minutes to their flight time by taking a safer route. What you don’t do at Aspen is take off in the middle of a summer day and immediately head eastward unless you have something with a 4,000+ feet per minute climb.

Winds aloft producing mountain waves can fool you. One time I was eastbound over Corona Pass in a C-180, 70 mph indicated airspeed, idle power, 40° flaps, and climbing 3,000’ per minute. The wave spit me out at around 18,000’. Then we dropped at 2,500’ per minute but were over much lower terrain.

Maybe it is wrong to make judgments until the facts are in but in this case I will speculate the key ingredient in this crash was pilot arrogance.

One addition. I've never had a problem walking into a FBO office and asking for advice no matter where in the country I might be.

1969 I was at Northway, AK in a C-170 that I was to deliver to Anchorage. After talking to the locals, made that very expensive call to the customer and advised him to come get his C-170. Two days later in the right seat enroute to Anchorage I was so happy I made that decision.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Safe to Say He Supports the 2nd Amendment

 Congressman Ken Buck (R) CO 4th is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

I live in his district. Not perfect, but has the guts to fight for things important to  our district.